Mick Retired from Newsagents

Mick, our local newsagent, has retired after 33 years. We wish him well. There was a party for him in the Wine Vaults on Sunday evening and I took a tray of warm tomato keftedes; the recipe for which is already included among those given on this website. Finding small plum tomatoes now on sale in most supermarkets is a great boost to the flavour of this dish. Don’t worry about the tomato skins being chewy or trying to skin the tomatoes at any stage. All will be well by the time the keftedes have been fried. I used the contents of two 400g packets of tomatoes, cut in half and baked on the rack of a roasting tin for a couple of hours.

Coriander worked well in place of mint and I added a heaped teaspoon of sumac. The tray of keftedes had been passed around and eaten before a picture could be taken!

Retiring after thirty plus years at the newsagents Mick stands outside his shop

Guinea Fowl on the Allotment

Guinea Fowl on The Allotment Kitchen Garden | TheAllotmentKitchen.com

The demand for duck eggs last year encouraged Julie, my 'Egg Lady', to increase her duck population and a very pink duck house was provided for them. There had been a great demand for duck eggs from restaurants eager to serve them with asparagus, broad beans or in quiches but sales dwindled over Christmas and New Year.

In the last two weeks demand has rocketed. It seems that duck egg custard is very popular on the menu of The Chequers in Rivers Street who last week alone took six dozen eggs.

Meanwhile, the Guinea fowl are very happy despite the ongoing restrictions of freedom and movement. The rescued two have joined up with Julie's own three birds to form a happy, very vocal, quintet.

The Guinea fowl were of the greatest interest to Bluebeard, our Burmese cat. He had them scrambling for safety in the gooseberry bushes before they could be rescued and given temporary shelter in a neighbour's fruit cage. Luckily, Julie my 'Egg Lady', agreed to house the birds and came to collect them with her husband, Anthony.

She said they had good colouring, were young and had been handled. As for their sex, it will all depend on whether or not they lay eggs. It seems the birds had been seen in the Royal Victoria Park for about two weeks. There had been three birds but a pile of feathers was evidence of one having been caught by a fox.